This Independence Day weekend, Indian Salsa was on stage for the world to judge. By all accounts, it passed the test.
Introduced in India around 1997, Salsa has fast emerged as the country's hottest new dance to master. At nightclubs and discos in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, trendy youngsters can be seen grooving to the latin rhythms and swinging their hips to the sensual beats.
So it's no surprise that an event that brought together top-flight instructors, dancers and DJs, both domestic and international, would be a huge succes. That's exactly what happened at the third annual Indian International Salsa Congress (IISC), which was held at the Grand Ashok Hotel in Bangalore from August 14 through the 17th.
Of course, also in attendance were hundreds of young Indian Salsa aspirants, on hand to learn directly from global and national icons through dance workshops, where individual instructors were able to teach elements of their own unique styles.
In addition to the workshops, there were amateur and professional competitions, superstar performances and social dancing sessions.
Lourd Vijay, the IISC director, India's resident Salsa guru and the man credited with 'bringing Salsa to India', was pleased with the turn-out and the degree of expertise on display, but said that it was expected. "It's great to see, but I'm not surprised with how big Salsa has become," he said. "India and Salsa make a good pair."
Photographs: Reuben NV
Text: Matthew Schneeberger
Also see: Salsa: a fusion of fun and fitness